Revolving Life

Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.” I Samuel 20:42 

Many years ago, Michael W. Smith wrote a song named “Friends” that has become a standard for Christians as a description for everlasting friendship between us and our Christian brothers and sisters. One line says, “for a lifetime’s not enough to live as friends.” Even King David had a friend like that; his enemy King Saul’s son Jonathon.

Do you have a friend who fits the description “revolving door friend?” These are the friends who come and go in our lives YET the love you share is a real if you see each other every day or once a year or (in the case of one of my dearest friends) maybe never face-to-face. Even more importantly, are you that kind of friend?

I am currently counseling two pre-teen girls who are perfect examples of “fleeting” friendships. From one week to another, they have new best friends or they make comments like, “oh well, if she doesn’t like ____ about me, I will just find a new friend.” That is not the type of friend I am thinking about today!!

I am blessed with a couple of friends like Jonathon was to David and I am extremely grateful for them but sometimes I let the cares of the world get in the way. I don’t think that is what God has in mind… I need to work on being a better friend; my friends are worth it. I need to keep reminding myself that when the Lord blesses us with a godly friend that he means it to be FOREVER!

“And friends are friends forever

If the Lord’s the Lord of them.

And a friend will not say never

‘Cause the welcome will not end.

Though it’s hard to let you go,

In the Father’s hands we know,

That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

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Struggling

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

I hate struggles. I love peace. I love “enough.” Even when I realize that my mistakes have led to the struggles; I hate struggles. Sometimes I find myself wanting to blame “rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil” for struggles when, in actuality, my sinful selfishness set the scenario for them.

Yet, we, as Christians, must be realistic enough to accept that we do struggle against the forces of evil. In those times we need to spend time in prayer and the study of the Scriptures for a multitude of reasons – to strengthen our foundational beliefs, to share the truths of God’s Word with our sisters and brothers in Christ, and to defend them to the world when necessary.

However, all of my “brain knowledge” doesn’t help when my world feels like it is caving in around me. It doesn’t soothe my heart or mind when I wake up in the middle of the night with a “busy brain” and can’t go back to sleep. I also confess to being a worrier BUT God is able, faithful, and loving! God is good, all the time… all the time, God is good!! 

It’s love so undeniable; I, I can hardly speak.

Peace so unexplainable; I, I can hardly think.

As You call me deeper still into love, love, love

You’re a good good Father; it’s who You are…

And I’m loved by You; it’s who I am!

©2014 WorshipTogether.com ~ Writer(s): Pat Barrett and Tony Brown

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Earth Day

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Most of us will remember Joni Collins iconic song, Both Sides Now, with the chorus:

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now;

From up and down and still somehow…

Its clouds’ illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.

My Mom spent hours lying on blankets with us simply looking up at the sky to find animal shapes in the clouds. Like most children, when the sun would stand behind the clouds we would wonder if Heaven was hiding there? Clouds… one of nature’s indicators; off a list too long to write down… the list of unexplainable, unduplicatable, natural wonders!

The writer of Romans speaks of nature as the reflection of “God’s invisible qualities.” Yet, scientists of all fields spend unfathomable hours and dollars seeking ways to refute that there IS a Creator. Have you ever wondered why humans continually seek reasons, answers, and methods instead of simply trusting in God?

The Garden of Eden must have been unspeakably beautiful; nature perfected ~ no weeds, no pollen, no dying vegetation. Yet, humanity could not accept the power in perfection of God and simply rest in His presence. This morning I woke up with worldly worries on my mind. I must ask myself, WHY? The beauty around me reflects ETERNAL POWER and DIVINE NATURE; the Creator of All is caring for His children… including me!!

Thank You for Your love so true,

Thank You for the skies so blue,

Thank You for the birds that sing,

Thank You, Lord, for everything!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Still

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Being still is tough for me; not quiet but still. Today, however, it is necessary because I hurt… a lot. When I first encountered the pain that would become the “norm” in my life, it was easy to be still; pain medicine will do that… it will knock you out. However, my choice was to leave the pain medicine in the cabinet and will myself to learn and bear with my new normal. I try not to talk about it much; it is what it is. But Rick and I have taken back the raking and lawn mowing ($100+ a month was prohibitive right now); let’s just say I had to break out the pain meds. Taking it very slow AND still today.

One of the “Gale curses” that my siblings and I talk about it a “busy brain.” When I am still my brain can’t rest. Of course, the evil one uses that time to whisper words about my weaknesses and every day struggles so I pray him away; a lot! I loudly whisper the name of Jesus and praise Him for all the wonderfulness in my world! I rewind the tapes of the last few months and pause on the beauty.

Have you ever noticed that we Christians sometimes quote half of a verse, commit it to memory, and rarely look at the words that follow? “Be still and know that I am God;” we see those words on patches, stickers, photographs, and sweatshirts but continue… God spoke PROMISES to David following that can bring the bright light of His presence into the darkest world… even to our darkest days! I WILL be exalted among the nations, I WILL be exalted in the earth. These are words of strength, of power, of assurance, of ultimate victory! I will be still today, I will rest but my Lord will always be in charge; ALWAYS!!

In the darkest days of World War II, Wendell Loveless wrote these words; no matter what the battle… GOD IS ON THE THRONE!

What though wars may come, With marching feet and beat of the drum,

For I have Christ in my heart;

What though nations rage, As we approach the end of the age,

For I have Christ in my heart.

God is still on the throne, Almighty God is He; And He cares for His own through all eternity.

So let come what may, whatever it is, I only say that I have Christ in my heart,

I have Christ in my heart.

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

 

“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, (…) And, God permitting, we will do so.” Hebrews 6: 1, 3

I “celebrated” my 66th birthday in February; I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 9 years old. It has been almost 57 years yet often I think it has been one step forward and two steps back in my spiritual maturity. I know that God NEVER lets us down so I am seeking an answer to living in the love Jesus. My first thought was “find a book” but then I almost audibly heard God whisper “the secret is IN ME.”

So, I’m making a conscious decision to pray more; to seek time with the Lord; to feel His love and learn His heart! I’m packing a spirituality backpack with the confidence that I am valued by God, the knowledge that HE deeply cares about what is on my mind, and an open heart to mature in faith, hope, and love!

The Lord desires more time with me; is that incredible or what? He loves me – just as I am – and has plans to mold me as only the Holy Potter can; from a cracked-pot into an open vessel for His service!. 

Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Savior; I know for sure all of my days are held in Your hands

Crafted into Your perfect plans 

You gently called me into Your presence, guiding me by Your Holy Spirit

Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyes 

I’m captured by Your holy calling. Set me apart.

I know You’re drawing me to Yourself, lead me, Lord. I pray 

Take me, mold me, use me, fill me; I give my life to the Potter’s hand 

Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me; I give my life to the Potter’s hand.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

THE Priority

 

“Jesus is ‘the stone the builders rejected, which has become the Cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12

Looking over my Facebook page this morning, I saw posts about animal neglect, gun control, design, health, dieting, and scenery. Some were interesting, some not so much; my reason for using Facebook is to stay connected with family and friends… to see photos and know what is happening in the families – a way to stay in touch with those I care about. I am careful about who I stay “friends” with. In fact, I stay “friends” with some who I cannot “like” or comment on because of words that are part of their vocabulary, but I love them and want to know they are doing ok! When I see names and comments, it often triggers me to pray for them ~ to take them before the throne of the Lord!

But, this morning I thought about priorities and where we, as Christians, place our priorities. Of course we should share “happenings” and photos of those we love but shouldn’t we also be posting positive words about the Lord? Shouldn’t we use this marvel of social media to spread the news of God’s ultimate gift; Jesus? We have an opportunity to tell our friends and their friends and their friends friends that Jesus IS the WAY to an eternity in Heaven ~

Being a good person is a wonderful way to live an earthly life – we can be a good person to animals and disabled or missing children and take care of our bodies in the way we see best BUT none of these things or a myriad of others will be important for eternity… NOT ONE! I’m going to take a moment today to post a message about God’s offer to forgive our sins and His promise of an eternity with HIM!! PEOPLE – including those we love – NEED TO HEAR IT! How about you?

“For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” Hebrews 2: 2,3 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

There’s Always Hope

 

“Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” Romans 5:1-5

My grandson’s baseball coach explained to the boys (and to some of the grown-ups like my husband) that he had deliberately traded some of his older team players to get more draft picks. He and his co-manager had decided that they would like to build a team. The coaching pairs of the three teams seem to be very different in temperament and in coaching styles. From the first practice, Coach was honest with the boys, telling them that he didn’t expect to win a lot of games this year while encouraging them to play their best and learn, learn, learn.

Last night was a huge example of this learning year; Soprano’s Pizza was down 20-1 in the bottom of the third inning. In Little League the game would have been called for the “mercy rule” but things are a bit different in Sr. League. The game isn’t official until the end of the fifth inning or after 2.25 hours. My husband and I held out hope for at least a more digestible loss; he – in his role of “official book keeper”- continued to encourage them. We lost the game but by a score of 20-9; our boys seemed to come to life during the top of the fourth! We actually had a conversation with our grandson on the way home; hope was all over our dug-out!

I was reminded of Paul’s words in his epistle to the church at Rome… and his encouragement to the Christians there – suffering is tough but only through the tough times for we learn the moral character we need to show the world around us! Lately my husband and I have been going through a dark valley; it has been and still is tough! But I refuse to give in to the darkness that has tried to envelope us; WE HOLD TO THE HOPE OF JESUS CHRIST! We know He will not abandon His people; NO WAY! And, God granted us a major prayer; a positive answer to a 4 – 5 year prayer that will change our families’ future, not the Heavenly one but the earthly one … we ALL know our hope eternal lies ONLY in the LORD!

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood & righteousness!! Where is your hope? 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

The Game

“I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

“Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1

My grandson is 13 years old, he is just entering the four year period that is “senior league” of Little League Baseball. His coaches and instructors believe he has some innate talent; he loves the game. My son played one season of Little League; he loved the game and still does. There is one major difference between my son and his nephew… one was tiny with a birth defect in his legs; the other is built for sports. Yet, they share a love for the game of baseball.

In the game of life, we all play a role. From our first breath to our last, we face the realities and intricacies of the game. The Word of God states that each player will come to a moment when they are given an opportunity to accept God’s gift of salvation through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. At this moment of choice we must make a decision to accept or reject His gifts of forgiveness, faithfulness, and a future as His child. We all begin with His love but much different gifts and talents… it is part of life’s game.

Along our path, the Lord will send coaches; the writer of Hebrews calls them “a great cloud of witnesses.” We run with others toward the same finish line… Heaven, an eternity with the Lord and those who have gone before! Along the way, there are rules… run with perseverance, throw off everything that hinders, avoid the sin that so easily entangles, and keep the faith! All the while, completing the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace!

It’s a game we play fully equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the fellowship of others, and an offered constant line of communication with THE COACH!! If you don’t know Him, just ask me or any member of the Lord’s team! I have no innate athletic abilities but I don’t need them – I am running the race ~ playing the game ~ striving to be faithful until the last out!

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:7 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Just Worshiping!

“He Himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” I Peter 2:24

“I’ll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that cross.” Chris Tomlin. Yesterday my pastor shared a story about the moment he had recently with his young son. They were discussing basic apologetics: “Where did God come from?” “How do we know there is a God? “Where is Heaven?” During the discussion his son asked about the Shroud of Turin. While talking about it and pointing out its intricacies, Pastor said he began sobbing or, in his words, he “lost it.” Whether you believe the shroud is or is not the burial cloth of Jesus, the horror it depicts is real, isn’t it?

I must confess that I am not a “fan” of watching brutal re-inactions of the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. I accept that they have their place. However, just closing my eyes or listening to lyrics like those of Chris Tomlin above or “Crucified, laid behind the stone. You lived to die, rejected and alone. Like a rose, trampled on the ground, You took the fall and thought of me, above all” by Michael W. Smith; my mind can be transported to the depths of love God showed in calling HIS ONLY SON to suffer humiliation, betrayal, unimaginable pain and ultimate death for us… you & me!

Today I just want to use my time to worship God; the Father, Son and Spirit for the perfect plan of salvation. Why they love us so; I will never understand but I am grateful; so very grateful!!

In the words of Juanita Bynum…

I’m forever grateful, Lord, to You.

And I’m forever grateful for the cross.

And I’m forever grateful to You,

That You came to seek and save the lost.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise!” Psalm 96:1-4a

I rarely write on Saturday but I have been struggling lately – with life in general. Maybe you are too so I am posting the lyrics to a song that reminds me where our foundation, as Christians, must stay!!

In the late 1970’s gospel music found its way to southern NJ. Along with my Mom and various siblings, I would drag my two “under 10 yr. old kids,” from church to concert venue; enjoying every moment. I loved the harmony and the pleasure with which the groups worshiped the Lord! Many songs have remained in my heart but especially the one below… “I’ll Keep Holding On to Jesus.” It was recorded in 1972 on the album “Afterglow” by the Kenny Parker Trio (Kenny & Peggy Parker with Elmer Cole) – I was unable to find song’s writer.  However, during my research I found that Kenny Parker lived a short life on earth, meeting Jesus at 49 years old. RIP Kenneth Lamar Parker; you were a light to my world as a Christian. I pray that you enjoy the lyrics below that have carried me through many “valley” days. (As sung by Peggy Parker in 1972)

I’ll keep holding on to Jesus, I’ll keep holding on to Jesus.

I’ll keep holding on to those precious nail scarred hands.

I may not see the road completely, my steps become so weary.

I’ll keep holding to those precious nail scarred hands.

 

As I walk the road of life toward Heaven,

Hills and valleys seem so hard to climb.

And if victory is a little slow in coming.

Remember the hands that held the nails are still the same.

 

I’ll keep holding on to Jesus, I’ll keep holding on to Jesus.

I’ll keep holding on to those precious nail scarred hands.

I may not see the road completely, my steps become so weary.

I’ll keep holding to those precious nail scarred hands.

 

Though sometimes the pathway seems so narrow.

Fear and doubt tend to crowd my mind.

But then I feel the gentle touch of Jesus.

He says, “Child, just keep holding to My hand.”

 

Watch here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T67pELrfZ-g

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org